Building the Ultimate Men’s Minimalist Wardrobe (Part 1)

What does minimalist wardrobe really mean to you? White-washed, Instagram-bait interiors? Overpriced Scandinavian designers? Kinfolk magazine IKEA flatpack furniture?

You are not the only one. It’s used today to describe a modern aesthetic. It is a style that values empty space, monochrome colour palettes and clean lines over all else.

It has a different meaning in terms of lifestyle. It is about only having what you need. No excess. There is no clutter. Only the essentials. These are the essential possessions you need to survive.

This school of thought is one we can get behind, especially when it comes to our wardrobes.

Imagine never worrying about what you should wear. You can be confident that you have the right sartorial tools for whatever occasion. This is the beauty of a minimalist wardrobe. A wardrobe that contains everything a man requires – and nothing else. There are no new trends or dead weight. Just timeless essentials that can be trusted.

Sound good? This is everything you need to know about building your own.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

Sometimes, the all-bases-covered clothing collection that we are referring to here is called a “capsule wardrobe”. It is a concept that is based on three core values: simplicity and versatility, as well as cohesion.

It’s important that you approach clothing shopping in a new way to get it right. It is important to consider how a garment fits into the larger picture, rather than focusing on its individual merits. This is key to creating a wardrobe that works together.

If you do it correctly, you will have something that can go from beach to wedding to bar and back again. You will be impeccablely dressed for every occasion, but with a simple selection of clothes.

Considerations for Buying

Quality is the most important consideration when buying minimalist clothing. This might require you to spend a bit more but it is worth it if it makes the difference between purchasing something once and five times.

It is important to have a variety of looks when creating a capsule wardrobe. It is important to be able mix and match clothes to create different looks. Colour is also crucial.

It’s best to stick to neutral tones. While bold colours are not out, it is important to have a capsule wardrobe that uses neutral tones. Black, white, greys and blues are all acceptable. But, be subdued. Nothing too bright.

The Essential Pieces in a Capsule Wardrobe

Are you ready to re-build your style? This is a list of everything you should have in a minimalist wardrobe. It’s broken down into sections. No filler, just killer.

Outerwear

Overcoat

It’s timeless, versatile, and something you can pass on to your children or their children. In terms of fabric, wool is the best choice. Also, camel is a great option. The overcoat is an essential part of any good outerwear collection. It can be used to tailor, as well as for casual wear.

Down Jacket

A good layer of insulation is essential when the temperature is not tropical. If you choose a versatile color, a down jacket can be worn across all of your clothes. It is light, practical, warm, and lightweight. If you need to layer, go for something more low-profile. Or opt for a puffer jacket for complete cold-weather protection.

Transitional jacket

While big coats can be great for winter, it’s not necessary to wear them when the seasons change. A transitional jacket is the answer. You can choose from a denim jacket or a bomber, or even an overshirt. It can be worn as a separate piece or layered over another piece if necessary.

Raincoat

No matter where you live, there will always be a rain. It’s important to have the right outerwear for when that day comes. You can choose to have a classic mac or trench coat, or you could opt for a Gore-Tex shell that is more durable.

Casualwear

T-Shirts

A solid collection of quality T-shirts is essential for any casual wardrobe. For maximum versatility, choose plain, block colours and stock up on black and navy. Green, white, and grey are all good choices.

Do not fall for the trap of thinking that T-shirts must be expensive. A plain tee can be purchased at a high-street store for less than a cup of coffee. But will it last longer than two washes before turning into a crop top or a raglan? It’s unlikely.

Jeans with a slim fit

While denim trends change, a pair of good-fitting jeans will last a lifetime. These jeans are perfect for Goldilocks. A dark wash is best for maximum versatility. These jeans are casual enough to wear with smart casual outfits but dressy enough for casual wear.

Flannel Shirt

A flannel shirt is essential for winter layering. You can wear this workwear staple alone, under a big coat or openly over a T shirt or roll neck. You can play with your neutral colours here. A red check is the obvious choice.

OCBD

When it comes to assembling a capsule wardrobe, Oxford shirts can be just as important as plain T shirts. Light colours and pastels are good choices here. We’d recommend two to three.

Chinos

It’s impossible to live in jeans all the time. You may love the look of slim, dark jeans, but sometimes you will need more. A pair of chinos are the best choice for dinner dates, work functions, and other smart-casual occasions. You can go classic with beige or modern with navy and forest green.

Knitted roll neck

Layering is a key component of menswear. A knitted roll neck is one example of good layering. It’s a smart idea to keep one in your capsule wardrobe in case of cold weather. To make it fit under heavier layers, choose a fine-gauge cashmere or cashmere blend.

Breton Top

While block colours can be great, sometimes you need something more striking. The perfect tool is a Breton top. This French favorite is versatile because of its nautical lines, long sleeves, and T-shirt-like fit. It can be worn alone with canvas sneakers or shorts in summer, or layered underneath a sports coat for cooler days.

Crew Neck Sweatshirt

A crew neck sweatshirt is classic, preppy and cosy. It can be paired with an Oxford shirt or chinos on weekends, as well as paired with a t-shirt and chinos. You want something that fits comfortably in the shoulders, and is slimming. Black, navy, and grey are timeless colors that will never go out-of-fashion.

Chino Shorts

To create a capsule wardrobe, you need to find garments that cover all bases in order for it to be manageable. Although tailored and denim shorts can be great summer legwear options for the warmer months, a good pair of chino or two of chino pants will make it easier to have one. These shorts are smart enough to wear with a shirt and shoes but casual enough to pair with a Tshirt and flip-flops.

Tailoring

Navy Suit

Navy is the perfect colour for a suit. It is timeless and versatile, and can be broken up to make separates and paired with other garments in your capsule wardrobe. Although grey is an option, it can look a bit too corporate in some settings. Navy, on the other hand, will work well for any occasion, be it a wedding or special event.

Dress Shirts

Kim Jones spent the majority of 2019 sending models down the runway wearing topless tailoring, while the rest of us should be wearing shirts. You will need a few high-quality, made-to-measure dress shirts to lay the foundation for your formalwear. To get the best out of your formalwear, we recommend sticking with white and skyblue.

Blazer with no structure

Casualwear is not always appropriate for all social situations. An unstructured blazer works well for everything else. A tailored jacket worn with casual legwear is not a good idea. The angular lines at the top can be distracting from the relaxed, laid-back vibe downstairs. An unstructured blazer with a relaxed style keeps the balance intact without going too formal or casual.

Wool trousers

A good pair of trousers will allow you to mix and match suit separates. The warmth and texture of wool trousers is a popular winter option. When styled properly, they can also be worn outside of the realm of tailoring. For a modern take on smart casual, pair a pair of them with a tucked shirt, unstructured jacket and leather sneakers.

Ties

Although there are many accessories for tailoring, the most important accessory is the tie. You should aim to have several in different colors and patterns. However, quality is more important than quantity.

Suit for Summer

It’s easy to forget summer tailoring, but it will be a blessing when you receive the annual flood of wedding invitations. A warm-weather suit should be made of a lightweight fabric, such as linen or cotton. If you feel adventurous, think beige or cream.

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